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Cheaper Ash removing shop vac

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Tonyray, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. Tonyray

    Tonyray Minister of Fire

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    hi,
    concerning what type of Vac to use with pellet stove ash removal, I will agree 100% that your home carpet vaccum cleaner is a no no for all kinds of reasons.. dust, hot embers, etc...
    that said, I was looking at the prices of pellet stove ash removal devices and since most are 5 gallon models, I really didn't need any thing that big.. I have a Harman P61A pellet model and even cleaning it every 2 or 3 weeks, the ash is minimal..[ manual says to empty ash pan after every ton burned] which no one prob waits that long but it gives u and idea of how little ash is burned.
    anyways,
    I have a 2 gallon wet/dry shop vac from HD called The Stinger.. cute little red/yellow vac that is light and very strong.. There are no HEPA filters for it. just the paper type that you secure with a round band..
    so, I Took a heavy white thermal sock and fastened it to the exhaust end of the Stinger with a radiator clamp.
    works like a charm...absolutley no dust while I clean the stove.
    All the dust and maybe more goes into the sock which I will replace in time when it starts to feel heavy.
    only prob I had was the exhaust end was not long enough to secure a clamp to it so I found a plastic exstention in my garage from another old shop vac, banged it into the exhaust end permantley.. since it was like 2 foot long, I cut it with a hacksaw till it exstended long enough to hold the sock and clamp.
    will the dust eventually kill the motor? who knows.. this little Home depot vac is so strong I don't think the fine particles stay in the vac long enough as they get sucked into the sock pretty quick.
    Just my 2 cents on saving a few buck on a too powerfull to need 5 gallon model.

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  2. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

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    You could also use the drywall bags. Though I'm assuming the fit a 2 gallon model. I use a fine filter and the drywall bags in my 5 gallon shop vac.
    stoveguy2esw likes this.
  3. Tonyray

    Tonyray Minister of Fire

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    yeah...my post was leaned more towards those smaller shopvac's that you cannot use or get any kind of drywall dust or ash filter for.. drywall bags usually to big for a 2 gallon shopvac.
    I searched high/low on the Internet and came up empty.. only can use the plain paper filter.. sock on the exhaust end was lot cheaper than buying a new vac..
    but, as I specified, more for pellet stove ash because it's minimal, unlike a wood stove.
  4. chico

    chico Member

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    I use a powersmith ash vac not to big and works allot better than shop Vacs . And safer .well werth the $85 I paid for it . No bag filters that can catch fire
    Augmister likes this.
  5. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

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    For me it was worth the $70 for a dedicated ash vacuum. It is small, designed to survive the occasional hot ember and it has a HEPA filter, so no soot in the living space.
  6. Tonyray

    Tonyray Minister of Fire

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    yes.. all good valid reasons to have a pro ash vac..
    I forgot to mention that I shut my pellet stove down for couple hrs or more before I start to clean it.
    nothing live by then... no embers going into the vac/

    btw: saw a kewl tip about putting the Harman on Test mode while 'stiff paint brushing' the heat exchanger and the inner walls as it exhausts all the soot to outside and not out thru the open stove door.
    I'll see how long my vac motor lasts using this cheapo method..
    As far as powerfull, seems to me that pellet stove ash doesn't require a mountain of power..
    my 2 gallon shop vac sucks up everything in it's way over so buying an over powered unit was never a consideration or needed.. [ bigger is better?]my 2 cents anyway.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
  7. chamas

    chamas Member

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    As in a sock for your feet? Stocking?
  8. Crazy Ivan from CT

    Crazy Ivan from CT New Member

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    I use a small Home depot shop vac to clean mine out. I know I should use metal shop vac just in case but it does the job the filter catches 99% of the ash/dust. My stove is right next to my French door to my deck. I just have to empty the shop vac and "bang" the filter against a corner of my deck down wind twice a month to remove the ash clinging to the filter.
  9. Tonyray

    Tonyray Minister of Fire

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    guess u know my filter is a white sock for now....plus paper filter on inside..mentioned in my original post....
  10. Crazy Ivan from CT

    Crazy Ivan from CT New Member

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    Its funny, I am letting my pellet stove cool and about to clean it out. will try your idea.
  11. Tonyray

    Tonyray Minister of Fire

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    the sock is attached to the exhaust end so no need for special dust filter.. use a heavy white sock. thermal even better.
  12. MarkSJohnson

    MarkSJohnson Member

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    (Use a clean sock, lest the house smell like feet)
  13. fmsm

    fmsm Minister of Fire

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    Hate to tell you but you do have live embers for up to 3 days! Put it outside ASAP or you risk burning down your house
  14. Fundy

    Fundy New Member

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    I bought an ash cleaner can that hooks to my existing shop vac. The hose from my existing vacuum connects to the opening to the right of the handle on top of the can and I have had no dust issues during use :)

    [​IMG]
  15. fmsm

    fmsm Minister of Fire

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    That looks interesting, it basically uses your current vac to provide suction only and contains everything else in the non flammable metal container? I like it....
  16. mithesaint

    mithesaint Feeling the Heat

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    Not disagreeing...but do you have a source for this? I don't think I've ever seen an ember in my stove for more than an hour after shutting it off, if it even takes that long.
  17. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    if you got live embers in a pellet stove 3 days after you shut it down you need to call a pro to find out why! woodstove, yes, pellet stove , no unless you are running it into the ground
  18. fmsm

    fmsm Minister of Fire

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    I never thought about the efficiency of pellet fuel vs. regular wood as far as hot coals go. I was always taught that hot embers/coals can last up to 3 days. I just consulted a family member that teaches fire safety (is a pellet stove owner thanks to me) and has multiple accreditations and his reply was simple; Because a wood pellet burn so efficiently it is very unlikely you would have a live ember after 3 days. A day or maybe 2 yes 3 days highly unlikely. He also went on to say that he would never leave any type of vacuum in the house after cleaning his stove. So let me semi retract my statement. I still feel that shop vacs and pellet stoves do not mix.
  19. Augmister

    Augmister Minister of Fire

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    Was doing the Rigid Vac with the hepa and drywall dust bag. Broke down and for $59 bucks, bought a PowerSmith and love it. About to buy another one for the second stove!
  20. Simoni21

    Simoni21 New Member

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    Where did you purchase your PowerSmith Augmister?
  21. thefly

    thefly New Member

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  22. Simoni21

    Simoni21 New Member

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  23. Superglyde

    Superglyde New Member

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    Just got mine today. It's pretty sweet. Do y'all's have a high pitched whine when it's running?
  24. thefly

    thefly New Member

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    Yea, I would say a much higher pitch than the reg shop vac... 10 amps!
  25. Augmister

    Augmister Minister of Fire

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    Bought mine at Mills Fleet Farm... they just went out of stock, back up to $69 and no free shipping. Will troll the site and wait for it to 'come round again. I had a bunch of left over attachments from an old vac that fit the PowerSmith perfectly, but that kit is a nice add on!

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